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Supergrass quit EMI for own label

12 December 08 13:15 GMT
By Georgie Rogers
6 Music news reporter

Supergrass have amicably left EMI's Parlophone Records after 13 years to set up Supergrass Records.

They follow in the footsteps of Radiohead and the Rolling Stones, who parted ways with the label this year.

"Parlophone has changed so much over the past year," said bassist Mickey Quinn, now their managing director.

He claimed they were witness to "wastage" at their former label, but going solo has forced them to reduce their overheads and think creatively.

Speaking to BBC 6 Music before they wrapped up their tour at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire, Quinn explained why they made the decision to part ways with the record label.

"We had a pretty good run with Parlophone when we were signed to them, but it's more a case that Parlophone has changed so much over the past year."

EMI was taken over by a private equity firm called Terra Firma back in May, and Quinn went on: "A lot of people seem to have left the company that were there for a long time, that we respected.

"For whatever reason, we both came to the decision that it's probably better if we weren't signed to them any more."

Homemade music

They have already put out a single called Rebel In You on Supergrass Records, which Quinn said enabled them to have "a lot more control over the quality", and resulted in something more "precious and personal".

The Oxford band found a PR company to promote it, recorded its B-side at home and managed the internet sales from a computer, and Quinn created the album artwork.

However, the do-it-yourself approach meant they had to limit costs.

"That was the other thing being signed to a major label - we saw a lot of wastage of money and a lot of things that seemed a bit pointless at the time," Quinn said.

"When you're footing the bill you pull your horns in. In a lot ways that makes you more creative."

'Still going along'

They have released five albums so far and a sixth under the name of Diamond Hoo Ha Men, which was just frontman Gaz Coombes and Danny Goffey, when Quinn was recuperating from sleepwalking out of a first-floor window in France.

His two broken vertebrae and a damaged heel are now repaired and the full Supergrass outfit plan to begin work on album number six in January.

But Quinn is not worried how further changes in the music business will affect them.

"There's always the music industry and then there's the music, and we've never really had problems making records," he said. "We're still going along but music industry seems to be collapsing around us."

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